New Crusaders captain Scott Barrett has shared his thoughts on the team changing their logo, saying the right decision was made.
The Crusaders brand underwent a review earlier this year after 51 people were killed in terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch in February.
With the Christchurch-based franchise taking their name and imagery from the Roman Catholics who fought in a series of religious wars between the 11th and 17th centuries, many called for them to change after the religious attacks in the city.
• Halberg Awards: Scott Robertson and his history-making Crusaders ignored by judges
• Rugby: Crusaders set to reveal decision on team name and new logo
• Premium - Editorial: Two thumbs down for new Crusaders logo
• Super Rugby: Crusaders drop swords from logo following Christchurch mosque attacks
In late November, the club revealed they would change their imagery but keep the name, replacing the sword-wielding medieval knight on their badge with two koro.
"There was along review process given the events that had happened and I think the correct decision was made," Barrett said of the changed insignia.
"The Crusaders really hold a key role in not just the rugby community but Christchurch and the regions that make up the Crusaders as a whole. They bring people together on and off the field and our fans are a big part of what we do.
"We'll still be the Crusaders and that's the main thing. Initially I was a little bit taken back (by the new logo), but I think it's great for us to move forward. It's the new Crusaders."
It will be the new Crusaders in more ways than one next year. Barrett will take over as the team's captain for the 2020 season, succeeding Sam Whitelock in the role. Whitelock, who is taking a sabbatical in Japan next year, was one of a number of star players to leave the team at the end of the 2019 season, alongside the likes of Kieran Read, Matt Todd and Owen Franks, providing opportunities for other players to make their marks on the competition.
With the 2020 season starting at the end of January, preseason preparations are already underway. Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said the team was glad to send of those moving on the way they did, but was now fully focused on the new era of the club and looking to win a fourth straight title.
"To send of all the great players that we did, that was pretty special. They deserved the opportunity to get sent away in such a positive game; it was an amazing way to do it in a final like we did – a full house in a freezing cold stadium and won on the back of defence," he said.
"We've got a chance to do pretty special (this year)."